Friday, September 7, 2007

Gotta read Army Times for coverage of Ros-Lehtinen

The Miami Herald sees the polls that say the public doesn’t respect Congress, and apparently they stop covering our members of Congress. So thanks to a Yahoo! Alert, I got news of the Army Times story today reporting how South Florida’s own Ileana Ros-Lehtinen follows the military-industrial-complex script in questioning a witness.

“Lawmaker criticizes GAO over war expertise” was the headline on the story, and you can read the whole thing at this link.

At one point she said, “I’m not saying you’re bean counters.” Translation: You are bean counters. This is called a cheap rhetorical trick.

Problem for her was, the Government Accountability Office is supposed to look into student loan programs, not the war in Iraq.

So when witness David Walker, the U.S. Comptroller General, reported that the Army is “stressed, stretched, strained,” our representative in Congress said, “What in the world qualifies you to say that?”

Well, hasn’t everyone in the Pentagon been saying that? Where has she been? I guess our representative in Congress was over at the Leadership Institute learning the script, because soon she brought out one of the biggest neo-con talking points: The Good War.

“I just can’t imagine at one point during World War II, if we would have gotten a report from the General Accountability Office about whether we’re meeting the benchmarks on D-Day,” she was quoted as saying, and here she must have wandered off in her mind because the Army Times report says she then wondered about the effect on public morale.

She attacks the credibility of the GAO rather than the war it was tasked (by Congress) to examine, and a Democrat from Texas, Gene Green, reminded her of that and added, “You’re attacking the messenger instead of the message.”

Yes, she was over there learning the neo-con script, which of course features attacking the messenger right up with cheap rhetorical tricks and mentioning The Good War in the chapter about pulling the wool over the public’s eye.

Maybe it’s too hard for the Miami Herald to write about this stuff without laughing. Problem is, though, it’s too serious. Thank you, Army Times.

UPDATE: Was I too quick to nag the Herald on this topic? One hour and 17 minutes after I put up this post on the Herald's Naked Politics blog posted something, too -- noting that Ros-Lehtinen is catching heck from the blogs for her treatment of the GAO.

UPDATE II: My friend Dave Patlak invites all to assemble near Ros-Lehtinen's office next Tuesday, Sept. 11, and urge her to do the right thing when it comes time to vote on bringing the troops home. The time is 4-7 p.m. at 8660 W. Flagler St. (at 87th Avenue), Miami.